Greenwich needs an Opposition – and it seems the voters agree

Our final pitch to voters in the council elections
Our final pitch to voters in the Greenwich Council elections last Thursday

The results of last Thursday’s local election are in, and despite Labour’s plan to win all 51 seats on Greenwich Council this year, we held all nine Conservative seats at the Town Hall – actually winning one more seat than at the last full set of local elections four years ago.

In a borough where Conservative grassroots members are outnumbered by Labour members by more than 10 to 1, this trend-bucking result represents a significant setback for Greenwich Labour – and could contribute to big changes in Greenwich politics in the years ahead. Continue reading Greenwich needs an Opposition – and it seems the voters agree

Living Wage Incentive Scheme becomes council policy

Matt reading survey returns - for FbPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

This post first appeared on greenwich.co.uk here.

After four years involved in local goings-on in Greenwich, I have learned that we live in a borough with a particularly frustrating political culture.  With three Labour MPs, 43 Labour councillors and only eight Conservatives on the council, as a member of the opposition, it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle to get things done.  All eight of us on the Conservative benches have a solid track record of local achievements in our wards – but when it comes to the council chamber, I don’t mind admitting that the Labour Party’s huge majority can make the going tough. Continue reading Living Wage Incentive Scheme becomes council policy

New proposal to help tackle low pay in Greenwich

Woolwich Town HallPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

At next week’s council meeting I will be proposing a new Greenwich Living Wage Incentive Scheme to encourage employers in the borough to pay the London Living Wage, which could make a huge difference to thousands of residents at no extra cost to the council taxpayer.

While the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Greenwich has fallen by an incredible 39 percent since 2010, figures compiled for the London Poverty Profile show that more than one in five jobs in the borough (21 percent) are paid less than the London Living Wage (the amount calculated as necessary to earn enough to cover the basic cost of living, currently set at £9.15 an hour) – and I believe the council has a responsibility to do more to tackle low pay across the borough. Continue reading New proposal to help tackle low pay in Greenwich